Food security and the NPPF

18 Apr


David Walsh, of  the useful website , writes:

Have you seen this article?
It suggests a second front on planning law.


I have sent the following to David Heath MP as minister for agriculture, and the questions to DEFRA as an FOI request,


“Given your remarks on food security, with which I largely agree, I would like you to consider the following:



a) what area of land is likely to need to be brought back into use for cultivation of crops by 2030?


b) what additional area of land will need to be assigned to meat and dairy production by 2030?


c) The new planning laws have opened a window that allows developers to slap successful outline planning applications on prime agricultural land, without restriction. What is the likely effect on food security, of the loss of this land to housebuilding?


I suspect that the answer is not readily quantifiable, but I would like you to consider the issue.


You may be unaware of the issues in (c), but briefly:


Any Local Planning Authority without a Local Plan adopted since March 2012 is deemed not to have a plan.


In such a case, there is a presumption of consent to any planning applcation for houses (via NPPF).


Developers prefer agricultural land, as it is cheaper to develop. Infrastructure issues can be dumped on local authories or utilities.


Significant chunks of agricultural land have already been diverted to housing, and much more will follow.


The Growth and Infrstructure bill will be used to bludgeon any LPA into submission if they try to resist (see Clause 1 of the bill).”



You could try a variation of this on your own MP. Note that the Growth and Infrastructure bill has returned to the Lords after the rebellion in the commons (Pickles declared himself “aggrieved” by this exercise in democracy!).


More from at 13 April  National Planning Policy Framework News.

2 Responses to “Food security and the NPPF”

  1. Jo Frith April 20, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    And yet with all this pressure to develop houses on the AONB the local council seems very reluctant to support local food producers by letting them have temporary living accommodation near to their fields and livestock if they are in the AONB. It’s odd isn’t it how large organisations can pressurise councils to bend the rules but small people get clobbered. Is it corruption, or is it just that Council officers and Councillors love to exert their power but only when it is against some small organisation or an individual? It would be lovely if an officer or a Councillor made some comment about this apparent discrepancy.

  2. Hamfisted April 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    It’s not really odd. It’s what happens when the rich and powerful persuade the rest of us that we should not organise together to resist them.

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